Review of Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea

8 of 105 of 55 of 595 of 100

I was very impressed by this tea. I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the reviews. But, I was very happy with it.

Firstly, this isn't what I'd call a full-bodied tea. It's not light, either. It's more in the middle. The notes are delicious and strong, but they don't fill up my entire palette. There's a lot of buttery flavor to it — it was unbelievable how strong and lasting the buttery flavor was. It bordered on milky at times. But, it was definitely more buttery than milky. There was a green/vegetal aspect to the tea beyond the butteriness. There was a mineral note that I've heard described in other teas as being like granite. I wouldn't call it spicy because it doesn't remind me of spices like cloves or cayenne or cinnamon. Rather, it's a spiciness the way salt could be called 'spicy,' thus the "mineral" labeling I'd used. Then, there were very slight floral notes in the background. The flavor lasted for many brewings and I didn't detect any off notes. The mouthfeel was buttery with a touch of green/vegetal and the mineral note. It wasn't really strong. Other teas, all I have to do is breathe normally and there's a presence. This one, I had to breathe more deeply, but there definitely was a presence there. It was rich, but subtle and did linger for a while. There was some astringency if I brewed the tea for a longer time or let it cool and sit. But, it wasn't much compared to other teas I have. I'd say this rates at a low level of astringency compared to other teas I have. It seems quite forgiving when brewing it, which is a great bonus (I hate having to fight to get a tea to brew well).

On top of all of that, the tea is very reasonably priced. It also has a Eurofins certification. So, though it's not organic, I felt more comfortable purchasing this one than other teas without such a certification.

I think that my only criticism (if you could call it that) is that I didn't find this tea very sweet. It leans more towards the salty end of the spectrum, perhaps because of the buttery, green/vegetal, and mineral notes. I tend to crave sweet more than salty, so consider that a matter of my personal tastes factoring into the rating.

To explain the 4/5 aroma rating, it did have a great aroma, but it wasn't as strong as other teas. Comparing it to a higher-priced oolong I have, it's a bit more subtle. I don't mind this, but I wanted my rating to reflect that accurately. That said, given how much lower the price is for this tea, I think it's perfectly reasonable that the scent isn't as strong. The other tea I mentioned which has a stronger scent is approximately 4x the price of this one.

Note: This oolong seemed very green to me, so I brewed it at 85ºC with good results. I rinsed it for about ten seconds, then brewed it starting around 20 seconds, then adding 10 seconds or so on to each subsequent brewing.

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